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I have my first experience with an iPhone, so really need some guidance and advice. I have got a second hand iPhone 4S - OS 5.1.1. I was told that it is SIM locked to a certain network.

When I switched it on it had Apple's Terms & Conditions on the screen which I had to accept or decline to proceed. After restart it asks me to insert a "valid sim card".

Questions:

  1. I am wondering if this is standard to get T&C on the screen after restore or this phone never been activated?
  2. If this iPhone has never been activated - can it be activated with a different carrier's SIM card to what it was supposed to be locked to?
  3. If I try to activate it with a SIM card from a different carrier - what is the chance that it stops working and becomes a "brick"?
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I have a feeling some of those questions could be hard to answer without getting a little more specific. It is normal to need to accept T&Cs after restoring. I have heard that at least AT&T will unlock if it was an AT&T phone which would allow it to be used with T-Mobile, for example. I would call the carrier you want to be on, and the one it is "locked" to. –  bassplayer7 Nov 28 '12 at 13:50

1 Answer 1

1 Question: I am wondering if this is standard to get T&C on the screen after restore or this phone never been activated?

Yes it is standard to get the T&C after restore.

2 Question: If this iPhone has never been activated - can it be activated with a different carrier's SIM card to what it was supposed to be locked to?

Activation is irrelevant. You'll either need to jail break the phone and unlock it, or ask the carrier the phone was intended for to unlock it.

3 Question: If I try to activate it with a SIM card from a different carrier - what is the chance that it stops working and becomes a "brick"?

No, inserting a SIM card from another carrier won't "brick" it. It just won't work in the phone.

Something to consider, the iPhone 4S uses a smaller sim card than standard phones do. When upgrading to a 4S from a 3GS I had to sand my SIM card down to fit (I like to use prepaid service so I'm not under a contract).

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If your carrier won't unlock the phone then you can probably find a person willing to do it for you on eBay. Since the phone is second hand you can still legally unlock it in the US. I have done two cell phone unlocks on eBay, both for under $7, both worked very well. –  bispymusic Mar 7 '13 at 2:52

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